RUBBING ELBOWS WITH ROYALTY

This story relates to when I was on the youth committee of the YMCA in Dalmuir.  I recall that it was 1931 or 32 when the Prince of Wales, who later became King Edward VIII, and then the Duke of Windsor, was doing a tour of the "depressed" areas, and Clydebank and Dalmuir were most certainly depressed.  The Queen Mary, the oceanliner which is now in Long Beach, California, but in 1932, was known to everyone in Clydebank by her job number -- 534 -- had taken shape in the gantry.  But, before she could even get to the launching stage, the government was forced to withdraw the financial backing needed to complete the job, so all work was suspended, thousands of workers were laid off and the town and all the people in it were desperate for some sign of recovery.  This was one of the factors that brought the Prince and his Entourage to Clydebank.  His aide-de-camp that day was Sir Ian Colquhoun, Baronet, of Rossdhu, Loch Lomond.  One of the stops on their itinerary was the YMCA in Dalmuir, and on that day, I was assigned as monitor for the four-table billiard room.  When the Prince appeared, we had a game going on each table.  The secretary of the YMCA had to introduce the committee individually to "His Nibs," so I met him.  He shook my hand and uttered a few banalities about getting jobs, etc.  It was approximately  3 p.m. when they reached Dalmuir, and I rather think they had a nice liquid lunch before they arrived, because they were feeling no pain.  After a few words and a smile, they were off again.  That was my brush with royalty.  I can't say I was much impressed, because at 5 feet, 6 inches, the Prince was not exactly an imposing figure.  He was an honorary colonel in the Coldstream Guards and they  were all over 6 feet. It was said he had a special bearskin hat that had been made 6 inches higher to make him look taller!